Wednesday, November 7, 2012


For once, I need to rant. Here's what today's wind meter reading for Duxbury:
Do you know any windsurfers who like strong, steady winds coming from the perfect direction at their favorite spot? I do.

We were there at 9. Whitecaps everywhere, but the low water levels limited the wind-driven waves to about 1 foot high, with very little cross chop. It looked perfectly doable, so we decided to go out. To play it safe, we decided to start on our 76 and 77 l wave boards with 3.4 and 3.7 m sails, with some hope to switch to speed gear later during dead low tide. But just as we started pulling boards out of the van, the Duxbury Harbor Master stopped by to tell us that the bay was closed. Bummer!

The reason was that the NWS had issued a storm warning. They explain: "A storm warning means winds of 48 to 63 knots are imminent or occurring". Well, we got 48 knot gusts after 1 pm, but I think the less than 40 knot averages until noon would have not been a problem. The water, already flat when we came, got visibly flatter while we packed back up to leave; the tide was low enough to stand in most of the bay; there was no debris on the water, not even reeds; and it had not even started raining yet  - except for the slightly chilly temperatures, this was the perfect day to sail in 40 knot winds.

We drove around the neighboring towns a bit to look for alternative launches, but nothing looked to promising, so back to the Cape it was. We checked out our local lake on the way home, but it looked way too gusty (like 5-55). After lunch, we actually did discover a sailable spot about 3 miles from our house - a local bay with 500 m runs and a pretty decent fetch, with the option to sail out into the ocean through a narrow channel. Water on the ocean looked ok, too, but it would have been offshore, a bit risky given the wind and temperatures. But no need to go out - runs inside the bay are comparable in length to runs in the bay at Fogland, one of our favorite spots.

However, by then the rain had gotten pretty nasty, and it was getting dark soon, so we just gave up on sailing for the day. There is a bit of hope left for tomorrow, but the wind will turn N and then NNW, which means gustier and more chop in Duxbury Bay. Tides also don't play along nicely - in N winds, the north side of the bay is better, but it will be to shallow there. Sailing on  the south side of the bay means that you have to get away from the Powder Point Bridge, which throughs a nasty wind shadow in N winds. With the wind then turning more westerly and going down a bit, getting back to the launch side means going upwind for a mile in chop while barely powered. All that in driving rain - nope, no comparison to today, I think.

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